We thought a vacation to somewhere beautiful like St. Paul, Minnesota would be a wonderful way to escape the dreary Mexican winter weather. Oh, and Ali’s sister is also getting married. So, those are the two reasons we’re in Minnesota in February. Again.
Before we left we did a little work to the kids’ room. We threw on a fresh coat of paint, then we took down the old roll cage I had built and constructed a new, much smaller, one in its place. When we first left in the bus last year Lowe was two-and-a-half and needed all that protection to keep him from hitting the floor. Now just a year later it’s as if he is all grown up. We realized he no longer needed that much of a wall, and that we could really open the room up quite a bit by shrinking it down. All that’s left now is to replace that corner trim.
Leaving the bus nice and clean for our return was a family affair.
Every time we fly I am struck by one thing. Not how ridiculous it is that we now have to pay ten dollars for a cold chicken sandwich. Not how much carry-on luggage we all heft aboard in an effort to not pay for checked baggage. Not how old the flight attendants all seem to be (are any millennials going into this line of work?). Not how disgusting it is when one person coughs and sniffles the entire flight, seemingly completely out of control of their bodily functions. No, none of those things. What I’m struck by is how many middle-aged women spend the entire flight playing ridiculous games on an iPad. The lady next to me spent three hours designing monster trucks and racing them around collecting coins. The game looked to be designed for a four-year-old. I felt stupider by the end of the flight just sitting next to her. And yes, I would feel the same way about a man playing this idiotic game, but men are always idiots so I wouldn’t be as surprised by it.
The morning after our arrival. Old toys are new again.
Ouest got to go with Ali to a wedding shower the first day back. There were a couple of other kids there for her to play with. Overheard twice during the party were those kids running back to their mother to say, “That girl keeps talking in Spanish. Why is she doing that?” and then in exasperation, “She’s talking in Spanish again, Mom.” Esa es mi niña.
Ouest is adding and subtracting completely of her own free will. I’m so proud that I’m not even going to google what the average age for this is, because if I found out it is supposed to be age three that would severely ruin the high for me. Really what I’m most proud of is that she figured it out on her own, and I think she is proud of that fact too.
She is always writing. If anyone out there has a kid that might like a pen pal, let us know, because Ouest loves nothing more than sending and receiving mail.
One bridal shower might have been enough for one weekend for some, but not for Ali’s sister, Katy. No sir, Sunday brought yet another. These things are girls only, which made me very happy as it meant that Lowe, Grandpa, and I could disappear for a few hours to the motorcycle show at the convention center. The bridal shower, not the motorcycle show, got the camera for the day.
Lowe sat on fifty bikes and flicked switches until they were falling off, but what he really loved are those four-wheeler dump truck mule things with the little side doors that he could open and close. We spent the majority of our time there playing TAXI.
Ouest’s ninety-five year-old great-grandma and her favorite cousin.
The bride-to-be. Ali and I started dating when Katy was six. Now she’s getting married. Sometimes being married to your high-school girlfriend feels really weird.
Ouest watching Katy open the gift she made for her that morning. This was taken a few minutes before her front tooth finally fell out. She’s been playing with it for weeks, and the thing has been sticking out in different directions every time I look at her (see photo above), so this was quite exciting for all involved.
She didn’t realize it had fallen out at first, so when she did realize it she started crying and said to Ali, “I lost my tooth!” Of course Ali thought she just meant that she had finally lost her tooth, she didn’t understand that Ouest was crying because she had lost her tooth. Katy found it and the day was saved.
Somehow we didn’t take one good picture of her adorable gap filled smile. She looks so grown up to me all of the sudden.